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Posted June 5, 2009 | Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily
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Main Street to close for car event

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By M.K. Luther -- mkluther@nvdaily.com

FRONT ROYAL -- The town's Main Street will take a drive back in time on Monday.

The annual Freedom Road Rally, an antique automobile cross-country road tour, will stop overnight in Front Royal and the vintage cars will be displayed along Main Street and in the Downtown Gazebo parking lot.

Main Street will be closed to traffic from 6 to 8 p.m. from Crescent Street to Chester Street to allow for a walking tour of the antique car exhibit.

The 2009 Freedom Road Rally Allegheny Loop will start Sunday in Washington, cover 1,000 miles and traverse four states of the Allegheny region, with scheduled stops in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania that include visits to local transportation or automobile museums, Civil War battlefields and other historic sites along the way.

The road tour will pass through Charlottesville and visit Monticello and travel along Skyline Drive before arriving in town. This year marks the first time the Freedom Road Rally has stopped in Front Royal.

"Front Royal is a very convenient stop," said event coordinator Chris Dorsey.

The Freedom Road Rally alters tour locations and stops yearly, but attempts to consistently offer the participants an opportunity to savor the local color of smaller, distinctive and historically significant communities with traditional downtown atmospheres.

"Front Royal offered all of that and a little bit more," Dorsey said.

Downtown Main Street restaurants and some retail shops will keep their doors open for the vintage road warriors as well as for all of the town residents who are visiting the antique car display.

The 2009 Allegheny Loop participants will be driving up to 35 different vintage vehicles, and Dorsey estimates the total number of tour participants will be double that. The majority of the vintage automobiles will be late-'40s or '50s models, although some older, classic cars are expected to be involved, Dorsey said. A vehicle must predate 1974 to qualify for entry into the registration-only event.

Dorsey said that the recently increased price of fuel is only a minimal concern for the summer road trip and antique roadster devotees.

"While we all would love to see gas at $1.50 a gallon, the important thing is the experience," Dorsey said. "The experiences had are well worth the cost."

For more information on the 2009 Freedom Road Rally Allegheny Loop, visit www.freedomroadrally.com.

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